CHARLOTTE, NC- The Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina is mourning the death of his brother-in-law, Donald Gist Jr., who was shot dead outside a Charlotte convenience store Friday.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police responded around 1:30p.m. to Queens Mini Mart on Beatties Ford Road and found Gist dead on the scene.
Neighbors and patrons who heard gun shots and live nearby are frightened and angry—as police search for the killer.
The mayor’s office sent WCCB a statement that reads in part:
“The shock and sadness of the past few hours have been difficult to bear. We will remember Donald as he was: a loving husband, father, son, and brother. He is survived by his wife, son, sister, and a host of loving relatives.”
People who heard the gunshots and live nearby say they’re worried more violence will happen.
“You shouldn’t have to be afraid walking these streets. That’s what makes me mad. You can’t be afraid walking these streets,” said Kelvin Biddle, a Northwest Charlotte resident.
“Bullets don’t have nobody’s name on them. They can hit anyone, at anytime,” said Sheeba Kennedy, a Northwest Charlotte resident.
More than a dozen squad cars blocked the street for hours – closing part of Beatties Ford Road near LaSalle Street.
West Charlotte High School, which is around the corner from the crime scene, were on lock down for close to 30 minutes after the shooting.
Lenoir Robinson, a West Charlotte parent, rushed to the school from work after her daughter called her frantic.
“She was like Mommy, something bad has happened. Someone has gotten killed, can you please come pick me up from school,” said Robinson.
Two men were handcuffed and put in police cars, but there’s no word on their involvement, if any.
“I just hope they catch the suspect, because I don’t want nothing to happen to my family members. We do a lot of walking because we don’t have a car, so anything can happen at any given time to anybody,” said Kennedy.
Police say the victim and the shooter knew each other, and this was not a random act of violence.
They are asking anyone with information to contact police.